Music Pick: “Redbeard”

1 Mar

“I like men with beards. And Redbeard is about me swimming after a ship and wanting to kill a pirate for doing something terrible to my family. But I find him really beautiful instead. And the romance is in staying with him until his red beard turns grey.”

This is how gay singer/songwriter Mark Andrew Hamilton of his Calgary, Alberta based group Woodpigeon, describes the inspiration for “Redbeard“, a stellar track off their recently released album Die Stadt Muzikanten.

Woodpigeon is Hamilton’s indie folk brainchild-an eight member band consisting of guitar, piano, bass, drums, accordian, flute, electric guitar, violin and at least five vocalists whose music coalesces into harmonious cinematic and melancholic orchestral pop. And, while Die Stadt is Woodpigeon’s third album in release, it is certainly their most ambitious and noteworthy.

Dubbed a concept album, the fifteen-song Die Stadt is primarily inspired by Hamilton’s Austrian born-grandparents, who moved to Canada when his mother was seven years old. But Hamilton also puts a lot of himself into his song-writing, including aspects about his life as a gay man. As a young adult, Hamilton moved to Scotland, the first place in which he felt comfortable and chose to live his life openly.

You are the people that came before you. So while this is a story about my grandparents, much of it is imagined too. I only knew them as a five-year-old. I had to fill in all the spaces with myself. Everything I know comes through them. I can say this record is directly inspired by my grandparents but completely autobiographical at the same time. I’m in all of those songs.

If you’re fans of recognizable names such as Grizzly Bear and Sufjan Stevens, then you should definitely check Woodpigeon out.

So please, enjoy this sunny winter day with a heartwarming gay pirate love ballad crooning in your ears. You know you want to.


One Response to “Music Pick: “Redbeard””


  1. New Woodpigeon Single! « BLoGT: NYU's Queer Blog - April 13, 2010

    […] March 9, 2010 by emancipationofjamie If you read about singer-songwriter Mark Hamilton’s thing for pirates, had a listen to any of the songs from his fantastic new album Die Stadt Muzikanten […]

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